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#2600. Compiled Behavior Management Ideas 1

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Posted Wed Jun 5 08:46:43 PDT 2002 by Colleen:)/k-3 (
Back To School Ideas

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Below you will find a chat about behavior management systems. Many teachers across the world shared the systems they use in their classroom. If you are just starting out with your teaching job, I suggest you read them all and pick and choose an idea that would work best for you. Make the choosen idea fit your needs. When designing your behavior management system keep in mind the three C's; consistency , caring, and community.

I, too, incorporate many different things into my classroom management plan.For my main plan, I find the "pull a card" system works the best. I love it, because it allows me to be fair and it enables me to discipline without anger or emotion. Also, I can easily fit both negative and positive consequences into this plan.
I also do "group points." There are five groups in my room and they earn points when the whole group does something appropriately... going quietly through transitions, etc. At the end of the week, the group with the most points gets to eat lunch with me in the classroom
To get the kids to settle down quickly (I.E.- when we're lining up), I believe that a variety of tricks works best.Sometimes I'll say "One, two, three... eyes on me" and they'll respond "One, two, eyes on you!". Other times, I'll do a combination of snaps and claps that they have to echo after me. OR, I'll occasionally whisper, "If you can hear my voice, ____________" (touch your nose, raise your hand, etc.)
For an academic incentive, I do "chance cards." When someone is really "stretching their brain," they get a little coupon-type card that says, "Congratulations! _____________ has earned a chance card." They put these in a bucket and at the end of the day, I draw out one or two cards to pick out of the prize box. At the end of the week, all chance cards are thrown out.
grace, Chad

I do a "card" system with my k's. Funny, never thought that I would, but it seems to work great- sometimes better than with older kids.
I have a chart on the wall with a pocket for each child. I
make the pockets from library card holders. I attach them with
paper clips poked through the tagboard so that I don't have to
make a new chart each year, I just get new card holders.
Across the top are 5 colored faces (ellision cut outs): any
colors will do, but here are mine-- yellow very happy face,
orange happy face but with a smaller smile, green straight
face, blue sad face, purple sad face with tears. Each pocket
has 5 bears corresponding to these face colors.
Everyone starts on yellow everyday. Verbal warnings are tried,
and sometimes I may do a quiet time without changing the color
in the pocket. There is a growing set of conserquences with
each color change. Most of the time once a child gets to green
(2 changes) the child chooses to change. Green will result in
a note or phone call home that same day to the child's parent.
Every child has a behavior progress report. A manila folder
and on the inside left is a piece of paper with my class rules
listed, consequences per color change and the rest of the paper
has lines for teacher and/or parent comments. On the right
side of the folder is a piece of paper with those faces going
across the top (made with microsoft word) and then the week
ending dates for that quarter typed in. Next to each date is 6
boxes- 5 smaller ones, 1 per day of the week. I used a marker
to color in that child's color for the day. The 6 box is for
parent signature.
Folders are sent home every Friday to be returned monday. I
send home a letter, with periodic followups, to encourage
parents to calmly discuss the reasons for the behavior and to
talk about the difference between home and school rules which
seems to be my biggest problem year after year.
Terri F.

Here is another idea, very effective for young children . The
focus is not on the negative behaviour and its consequence.
Rather a focus on doing the right thing all the time and
being rewarded for that .
I have little pieces of paper with "Caught you being good" on
them and a blank space
A container on the desk
A container of jelly snakes or a goodie
Children are awarded "caught you being good" papers. They can
write their name on and then place in the container. At the
end of each day we have a draw and the persons name that is
pulled out gets a jelly snake.
This presents me with a challenge to be aware of all children
and catch each child doing something appropriate(no matter
how small). Sometimes we have two and thre drawn in the one
afternoon .
Posted by Carol on 6/02/02

I use several different things in my room. But I really have good luck with one particular system. My kids sit in groups, some together like a table and others in rows. But each group has a number. I put marbles in a cup with their number when I notice that they have responded to the directions quickly and quietly. If they all go down the hall quietly, I might put marbles in every jar. Sometimes if one person in a group does something special I may reward the whole table. Every couple of days I will check to see which group has the most marbles, then I pour the marbles into a cup, then a pint, and finally into a quart. When we fill the quart, I have something special for them.
Last year we had a reading party with pillows, parents ( a few), favorite books and cookies and milk. Other times we would have extra recess or center time, whatever. The kids really respond to this and in the end everyone gets to participate in the reward. They also learn very quickly that two cups makes a pint and two pints make a quart.
I also do a lot of Dr. Jean's celebrations, like the ketsup bottle clap, or the fireworks, or they stand up and do something silly. I really don't like to mess with stickers, it seems too time consuming to keep up with.
I also use some different things when negative consequences are necessary. I want to read Love and Logic this summer and may be able to come up with something new.
I'm sorry to say, I am just like you when it comes to thinking about next year already. But I enjoy having the time to regroup and rethink. Good luck.

Here is a little poem that I've used in the past for those hard to handle classes.......
I put a clown up high on the wall, (any visual will work)... and aside of the clown I had this poem written....
For all the nice things people say,
I'll add another link today.
And when the chain and floor do meet,
(Mrs. Rhodes) will bring us a treat.
I took1" strips of paper to make a paper chain and looped one loop around the clown's hand.Each time the children were caught doing something good, or being nice by another member of the staff, they would add another link. After the link got lower and the children could reach it, they would add the link themselves.I talked about cooperation, and how everyone needs towork together etc. But you must discuss that other staff members must say something without the children asking or telling that they are behaving. If the kids do that, they don't get a link. You can make it as challenging as you like, the higher you put the clown on the wall, the longer it may take them to get the treat. If you want to start out small, lower the visual so the chain doesn't have as long to hit the floor, but later you may raise it if you want to lengthen their time of meeting the goal.
Yvonne Rhodes
Catawissa PA

I have recently started using an approach to discipline in my class that focuses on developing self-discipline and responsibility in children. It is extremely positive and quite different than the approach you said you have used in the past. The program I am using comes from a newly published book by Dr. Marvin Marshall. He has an extensive website with many excellent articles that come directly from his book if you are interested in exploring this. His website is If you are unhappy with the behaviour modification approach (french fries etc.) this might be an answer for you. Not long ago I wrote quite a long letter about Dr. Marshall's approach encouranging someone else to find out about it.I'll copy and paste it here in case it's of interest to you.
Kerry in B.C. Canada

Caroline Starowicz wrote:
You could put shapes ( such as fish), cut from construction paper, with the kids names on them on the wall beneath the blackboard. When you "catch a kid being good", you ask them to put a star sticker on their shape. Once they get five stars on their shape they earn a nice sticker. When you want to change the shapes, they can take them home. This is an idea I learned from my cooperating teacher when I was a student teacher.
The teachers at my school this a lot. But one of my pet peeves is the child who hollers "Look at me, I'm behaving." or "Did you notice that I sharpened Becky's pencil for her?" How do you handle that?

Here is a point system I have used it the past. . . All positive points! Also, it is great for keeping the room pretty quiet when they are doing centers and I am teaching small group.
My students sit in teams. I have 22 students. There are 4 teams. 3 of the teams have 6 at them and 1 has 4 students. Each team has a group number. Before I start reading groups, I tell them I will be looking for my favorite group (quiet and on task). That groups gets ten points and the second place gets five points. After I finish with each reading group I offer positive verbal feedback (Wow, look at group 2 everyone is working hard and their group is very quiet). There is no more than 4 kids at a center and most of the time all students are not at the center at the same time because some work faster than others. I never have trouble with noise level at the centers. After reading groups, I go to the board and transfer the points under their specified group number. Throughout the day I offer points to groups that are ready to learn. For instance during a math lesson, I tell them I that I am looking for the groups that are participating and on task during the lesson. I just make it up as I go - adding points for positive things the groups do. At the end of the day we count the tally marks and the first place group wins for the day. They get a star on their chart. When a student fills their chart they get to go shopping in our class store for one item and then they get a new chart and the process starts again... The next day starts with a clean slate and any team can win. I love it, it works great and the kids seem to like it.
The class store is filled with Oriental Trading stuff (very cheap).
I also offer the students stars on their chart during reading group. When they get to group they start with 0 stars and can earn up to three.
To help make this run smoothly, one of my class jobs is star monitor. He/she will pass out the stars to the winning group at the end of the day.
Download some free goodies for back to school at

Speaking of Dr. Jean...I totally love her "stuff!"
Here is a link to her celebration chants/cheers;
I do something very similar to Annie. Each team of 4-5 children (they sit in desk groupings) has a cup on their tables. I reward positive behaviors with little
green tickets I made several years ago. We set a class goal, say 50 tickets to start. (I increase the total as the year goes by.)
At the end of each day the day's team captains (1 fromeach table) reports how many tickets their team has. I write them down, then we add them up and I post theclass daily total. When we get to the goal we eat in the classroom the following day. That is always a big deal. I've used popcorn parties, extra recess, maybe
some extra center time, etc. Whatever works for the class.use to do stickers, candy and the like but found that this works best for me and my "kiddos."
Classroom management is one of those trail and error things. You have to figure out what works best for you. The 3 C's key to any successful system are consistency , caring and community.

Some other tips that have worked for me: Colleen
Grab a Name -There are many alternatives to Red Robin Reading. Here is a good idea. Keep a mug of tongue depressors with each student's name on a tongue depressor. Then pull these for students to take turns reading or answering questions. Students pay better attention when they don't know who will be "pulled" next. The "sticks" work great when you pull names for small group activities. Also, another good idea is to pull the names and arrange them in groups on your desk, then announce who is working with whom for the class project or experiment.
Still Waters (transitioning from one activity to another) K-3 There are times when teachers need their students to be quiet quickly. For instance, when you are getting ready to go out into the hall and transition into a new environment. I learned this simple trick in the school I student taught in from one of first grade teachers... Thanks Barb S. 1. First you need to inform the class of a game called "Still Waters". Tell the class that you will be playing this game often and they will know when the game starts by whenever you say, "1,2,3,3,2,1 Still Waters has begun. (This should become a regular routine for your class) 2. When they hear this statement they are to freeze and not say a word or move. 3. You will be timing them to see how long they can stay still as a team. The goal is for them to break their best record. 4. You will hold your fist in the air and each time you see someone move or talk, you put a finger up and stop when you have all five up. Then check your watch and give them the number of seconds they lasted. 5. By this time you will have their attention and can give them directions for the transition...
Math Mania K-5 Do you ever find yourself with a few min. before lunch and you are done with your morning lessons. Here is a game to play while the students wait in line to go to lunch! This is a great one for subs to have handy! 1. Have the students line up. Have the first student in line choose a number from 1-10. 2. Announce an operation. Such as add 2. 3. The second student in the line adds two to the first students number. 4. Continue down the line having each student add 2 to the new total. 5. If they answer incorrectly the student sits down and the student behind the "out" student tries to take over where the other left off. 6. The winner is the last person standing.
Clap My Beat 1-5 (K?) One of the best behavior management techniques I have learned is the one I am about to share. I learned this from my cooperating teacher when I student taught. It is great for getting your class to stop what they are doing and pay attention. It is so simple and they love it! Thanks Barb H. 1. Inform your class of a new game you will be playing. Tell the class that whenever you have something important to say or you want the class to have their eyes on you, you will clap a beat and they will mimic the beat you clap. Once you stop clapping their eyes should be on you and their mouths should be zipped! 2. For instance, (you - clap, clap, snap, clap) and (they-clap, clap, snap, clap) 3. You keep clapping beats until you have everyone clapping with you and eyes on you. Now you can start a lesson or so on. IDEA: I found that when I used this it was most effective if as I was making the beats I would say, "I bet you guys can't do this one!" They loved the challenge. Also, it worked best when I would praise the students on how nicely they clapped along. Especially if there is one student who always claps along with your beat as soon as you start. Positively reinforce that student and others will follow as quickly.
Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light... STOP!!! If your classroom sound like a traffic jam - this idea may help you out!! 1.) Make a poster board sized traffic signal. 2.) Cut out an arrow 3.) Glue the arrow to a spring tight clothespin, and clip it to the traffic signal. 4.) Tell the class when the arrow points to the yellow light, they need to listen carefully to directions. 5.) Inform that the green light tells them to begin their work.

I have been a teacher since 1973 and the behavior plan I use is definitely
STRESS free (for both you and the students) and doesn't take time out from
teaching. I start the year off with every child's name on the board. I
give a tally mark when there is good behavior. When someone is doing
something inappropriate, I give all others a tally mark. The children catch
on pretty quickly, you don't have to say a word, and just about no time is
lost. I do this a lot at the first of the year and it gets fewer as the
year progresses and they internalize the behaviors I want. My class is
always the best behaved, usually even when I'm not right there. In second
grade my students need to learn tally marks and this is one lesson that's
very easily taught when we get to it because we have used them from the
beginning of the year.
Oh, when they reach 10 tally marks, I erase them and they get to pick
something out of a goodie box. I have polished rocks, older books, left
over stickers, not much but they don't seem to mind. No one can tell where
anyone is in relationship to behavior because after 10 each starts over. It
works really well with no "feelings" involved--either yours or your
I am so glad you posted this. I need help with it. I have read quite a few beh. mgt. plans that have the teacher catching the kids being good. I tried it one year but it was so hard for me because the bulk of my class is always so good! It's usually just a very small number that causes 99% of the problems. I found myself consumed with catching good behavior because it's always there. Then I started worrying about what I was teaching them - they are SUPPOSED to behave and I wondered if it was really a good thing to reward them every time they behaved the way that children should. And, if I didn't reward them every time I caught them being good, how would I pick and choose what to reward them for? I'm telling you - I've got some awesome students every year who could be rewarded CONSTANTLY. Being kind, sharing, being polite, listening, helping each other, finishing work in a timely manner, etc., are traits I want to instill in them but not necessarily reward them for. Does this make sense? I am always told that one of my strengths as a teacher is how positive I am with all of the children (I tell you this so you won't think I sit around and holler at the misbehavers while ignoring the ones who behave since they should be!!). I should also say that I am the parent of two girls (10 and 11) and I have never paid them for good grades or given them allowance based on doing chores at home that they should be doing to contribute to the household. I feel like their duty is to make the best grades they are capable of and it's not something I should pay them for (and they both have made straight A's so far....we do go celebrate report cards at TCBY but many of their classmates get LOTS of money for every A they bring home). Around the house, we all share some of the chores to make it a nice place to live and none of us gets paid for it. If they want to make money, I'll give them a job that I don't expect them to do like washing the van or washing all the windows outside, etc. I hope this is coming across how I feel about it - I am a VERY positive minded mom and teacher! Bottom line, I would LOVE a behavior mgt. plan that focuses on the positive but I am having a hard time with the mechanics of it Sara}

I have a chart up on my board. It is divided into 5 sections. The sections are labeled +3, +2, 1, -1, and -2.
The students each have their name on a magnetic card, or you can use gallon milk caps with their pictures inside made into a magnet.
They all begin the day in 1. During the day their name can move up when they make good choices or down when they make not so good choices. I like this because they can redeem themselves, opposed to the color cards.
The first thing in the morning it is two students job to fill out my form that keeps track of where you were at the end of the day. They then move the names back to 1.
At the end of each nine weeks is a reward day. The first and third quarter we have game day. I pull out all the games and they each have a cost posted. They use the points they have gained to buy their time on a game. The better the game the more the cost(popular).
The second and last quarter I have an auction...these are my favorites. I have items that I collect or ask parents to remember us as they spring clean! The students use their points to bid on the itmes. I make sure everyone gets something. I have books we have made in class, pictures I took, book club books, things from yard sales, etc!
This system has worked well with me. I have had a few cases where I needed a daily behavior chart for individual children. But other then that this works for me. I do like Pam says and concentrate more I catching them being good, then the others fall in turn to good behavior.
Any questions just ask!
Terry/FL Looping 2 to 3
P.S. They can save their points from one event to the next, which works well if someone is absent. 06/04/02 17:38 PM
I use the barrel of monkeys you get at
Wal-mart. Each time a groups is
caught doing somthing
well, they get a monkey. They hand it on
theirdesks.The group with the most hanging monkeys goes to treasure chest.
Excellent idea! Do you do this everyday or do they go to the treasure
chest at the end of the week?
each day, after the first few weeks Ibegin to allow the awards
to be free read time, extra center, extra computer time, that
way I don't get low on the treasure chest. Samantha/TN

I use the Marble Jar as a total group incentive, but I empty the jar. I find its motivating for the kids to see how close they are to their goal. As we get close to an empty jar, we count how many marbles are left in the jar, set a goal for how long it will take and discuss behaviors that will earn marbles. Also on "exciting days" near holidays, Field Trips, Picture Day, whatever it is that has them overexcited, we have "Double Days". Because it's twice as hard to follow the rules at those times, I take 2 marbles out each time the whole class cooperates in some way. Compliments from another teacher or the principal are always worth 2 marbles, so on these days the class earns 4! When the jar is empty, we celebrate with a "Marble Party" (cookies& punch, or popcorn & soda) the next day, refill the jar, & begin working toward our next one. This year's class (K-2) earned 18 Marble Parties!}